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When it comes to kitchen storage containers, glass ones come with many benefits, whether you’re storing last night’s leftovers in the freezer or putting away ingredients in the pantry. That’s because glass is durable, easy to clean, stain-resistant, and odor-resistant, plus it’s also transparent, which helps you prevent food waste. It’s true that they are going to cost you more than most plastic alternatives, but you’re paying for a longer lifespan and a higher-quality product to keep your food fresh. Transparent Ceramic Glass Panels
In addition to scouring the market, we turned to two experts — Ashley Hines, the owner of Thee Tailored Life, and Ali Rosen, the author of Modern Freezer Meals — to find the best glass storage containers for your kitchen needs. Considering important factors like use, glass type, lid design, and capacity, we landed on the Glasslock Assorted Oven Safe Container Set as our winner. Keep scrolling to read why it’s our overall favorite as well as the other best glass storage containers that made our list.
Pros: This versatile assortment of containers features airtight, leakproof seals, and they stack for easy storage.
Cons: Food debris may get stuck in the grooves in the lids, so that can require more thorough cleaning.
When you decide on a set of glass storage containers, you want it to prove its value with whatever food you throw its way. This well-made product won’t disappoint, as the containers can be put in the microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher. The lids are easy to latch on and off, but at the same time, they keep liquids in and air out for maximum freshness. Just take extra care when cleaning in case any food bits have gotten stuck in the lid’s crevices.
We appreciate the range of sizes and shapes this set’s container comes in, and better yet, the smaller ones can be stacked inside the larger ones, so you can save some space in your kitchen cabinet. If you’re looking for a good starter set or a good bundle to replace your plastic containers, these are the way to go.
Price at time of publish: $57
Pros: With a vacuum seal, these nestable storage containers keep food much fresher, cutting down on food waste and preventing freezer burn.
Cons: You’ll have to leave some space at the top of the container so the contents don’t get in contact with the valve.
The Zwilling Food Saver is Rosen’s all-time personal favorite and what she uses the most at home. “Vacuum seal sounds labor intensive, but this is actually easier than the locking lids — for me anyway,” she says. All you have to do is dock the pump onto the top of the container, push the button, and the air is extracted in just seconds. “Your food stays fresh much longer,” Rosen adds. “Whatever you end up spending extra on buying the sealer and the containers will come back to you through not having to throw away food you forgot about in your fridge.” According to the manufacturer, the containers keep food fresh for up to five times longer than non-vacuum storage methods.
When using, just be sure not to fill the container all the way to the top since you should avoid contact between food and the valve. The cordless vacuum sealer pump is compact enough that it shouldn’t be too difficult to find somewhere in the kitchen to put it. With small, medium, and large containers, this set also stacks within each other for easy storage.
Price at time of publish: $145
Pros: Produced by a reputable kitchen brand, these containers are durable, high-quality, and come with colorful lids.
Cons: The containers are oven-safe but the lids aren’t, so you’ll have to remove those when reheating the contents.
Hines has had her set of Pyrex glass food storage containers for more than a decade. There’s a reason it’s such a trusted brand for food storage — actually, multiple reasons. “You really can't go wrong with trusty Pyrex,” Rosen says. “They stack great, have multiple colors for easier organization, and are the best value for the quality of any brand.” Since the lids are made from plastic rather than glass, you don’t have to be as cautious when it comes to stacking the containers on top of one another. Keep in mind that while those lids are safe for the microwave, they shouldn’t be placed in the oven.
We love how there’s a variety of shapes and sizes in this affordable set, and anyone who is a fan of the color-coding system should appreciate that the lids come in green, blue, red, and orange for additional organization.
Price at time of publish: $44
Pros: With separated compartments and smart-locking lids, these containers are great for organizing meals and keeping food fresh.
Cons: Unlike the rest of the container, the lids aren’t microwave-, oven-, or dishwasher-safe.
Love to meal prep? Then these glass storage containers are sure to come in handy when you’re packing up your food for the week. For starters, they are perfectly sized for an average meal and have two compartments for separating different foods in your meal and guiding portion control. They also have smart-locking, leakproof lids to keep things fresh, which is great since you might not eat what’s inside for a couple of days.
When it comes time to eat what you’ve made, remove the lid and pop the container in the microwave or oven to heat up your meal. If you’re meal prepping far in advance, you can also put these containers in the freezer.
Price at time of publish: $35
Pros: These beautiful canisters have a silicone ring for a tight seal and are dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
Cons: They aren’t really the best for liquids, so it’s best to stick to dry goods.
In our kitchen tests, these canisters earned our stamp of approval, ranking high on their performance, capacity, design, and ease of cleaning. “These are great for storing dry goods on the counter,” one tester said, “I get nervous with glass because they could fall and shatter, but these are very attractive and useful.” As a grain of salt, the tester did say that they wouldn’t necessarily use the canisters for liquids, which is understandable given that the lid is made of wood. That being said, another tester said that when used to store an onion-tomato mixture, the storage containers smelled as “fresh as a daisy” after running them through the dishwasher.
Whatever you put in the containers, from grains to pasta to cookies, is going to stay fresh longer thanks to the silicone ring in the bamboo lid. It’s also nice that the set has canisters in a range of sizes to suit different types of pantry items.
Price at time of publish: $50
Pros: You can count on these for a good seal, and their sleek, neutral design would look good on any kitchen counter or shelf.
Cons: The seller advises people to hand-wash these.
For flour storage, Hines recommends these glass canisters. She says, “They’re simple, modern, seal tight, and have an easy on-and-off lid.” That lid can keep such a tight seal thanks to the removable, BPA-free silicone gasket inside. Hines is also a fan of the matte black lids, which strike the balance of adding some aesthetic appeal while being classic enough to match a variety of design styles, from farmhouse-style kitchens to minimalist spaces.
The smallest size sold will fit a two-pound bag of flour, but if you’re buying your flour in five-pound bags, go for the next size up. If you’re following the store’s recommendations for maintenance, then you should hand-wash these canisters, but it’s a quick job given the material.
Price at time of publish: $15
Pros: These leakproof containers have a low per-unit cost and can go in both the oven and the freezer.
Cons: You should be careful stacking these containers to avoid damage, and it’s best to hand-wash the lids to prevent deforming.
What you eat changes every week, which means the size and shape of your food storage containers should be able to accommodate a variety of meals. What shouldn’t change is how fresh they keep your food until you’re ready to dig in again. Cue these glass food storage containers. Well-priced for how many containers you get, this set offers differently sized round, square, and rectangular containers that should suit whatever leftovers you happen to have on hand.
You can choose from four colors for the silicone ring in the lid, which along with the snap-locking system helps keep things airtight and leakproof. If you want that sealing ring to keep its shape for as long as possible, take the extra time to hand-wash the lids, even if they are technically dishwasher-safe (the silicone is removable though for easy cleaning). Since the rest of each container is glass, you might not want to stack the containers or at least put down some kind of plastic sheet between them to steer clear of potential breakage.
Price at time of publish: $40
We chose the Glasslock Assorted Oven-Safe Container Set as our top overall pick due to its durability, ease of use, and range of assortment. For storing pantry staples instead of cooked food, we like the Le’raze Canister Set because of its attractive design and secure lids.
Glass storage containers work well for a range of situations, from freezing cooked food to storing your go-to pantry items, like pasta, flour, dried beans, nuts, and spices. When choosing your glass storage containers, consider what you’ll be putting inside of them, so you can choose a set with the right material, sizes, shapes, and lids that fit as much food as you need and help keep it as fresh as possible. You may even want to consider your design aesthetic if you know the container is going to be displayed on an open shelf rather than in your pantry closet.
Not all glass is alike: Three of the most common types of glass you’ll come across are untreated soda-lime glass, tempered glass, and borosilicate glass. Untreated soda-lime glass is what your average jars, bottles, and windows are made out of. While it’s cheap, it isn’t good at withstanding thermal shock. Tempered glass, on the other hand, is glass that’s been processed with specific heating or chemical treatment, making it more shatter-resistant and able to handle a greater range of temperatures. Made with boron trioxide and silica, borosilicate glass does the best job of the three tolerating big temperature changes, but it’s usually thinner and more likely to break if you happen to drop it than tempered glass.
If you’re storing something at room temperature, then a container made of untreated glass would work fine. If you’re planning to store food that you may want to move between the freezer, fridge, and oven, then it’s best to go with something made out of tempered or borosilicate glass.
Even if the storage container itself is made of glass, it’s common for its lid to be made out of plastic or silicone. Some lids have vents to help prevent splatter during reheating. There are also lids with tabs that snap over the sides for airtight locking that keep food fresher and prevent leaks as well as lids with valves for vacuum sealing.
To Rosen, the lid is really the key differentiator between glass storage containers. “Some people love simplicity, while others travel to work or to family dinners with containers — and in that case, you want the most leakproof, which tends to be the airtight locking lids,” she says. “My personal favorite is the ones that are vacuum sealed because they keep the food the longest, which for me is the biggest factor.”
You can find glass storage containers of all shapes and sizes, and common capacities range from one cup all the way to eight cups. What capacity is right for you really depends on what you’re planning to put in there. For example, if you’re mainly storing food leftovers or doing meal prepping, then containers with a three- to four-cup capacity should work. Rosen recommends having a range of sizes. She says, “I also prefer squares and rectangles because I think they fit in the fridge and freezer more efficiently.”
For Rosen, the answer is a resounding “absolutely.” She says, “glass storage containers last longer and are more versatile since they can go from fridge/freezer to oven/microwave to table. They are usually a bit more expensive, but you'll get much more bang for your buck.”
Hines agrees that glass is better than plastic for long-term usage. “Plastic more readily stains, absorbs food smells, and warps,” she says. “I’ve replaced my plastic set three times, while I’ve never replaced my glassware.”
Yes, your glass storage containers can go in the oven and freezer — as long as they’re made from the right kind of glass. “Regular glassware (like what you drink out of) is manufactured differently than storage containers that are meant for the oven and freezer,” Rosen says. “These containers are usually made of either tempered or borosilicate glass, which are specifically made to withstand more extreme temperatures. She explains that the main thing is to check that the containers you want to buy are labeled as freezer and oven safe, and then you’ll know that you’re good to go.
Once you've purchased temperature-resistant glassware, Hines recommends reviewing the description of your glassware to confirm the range of temperatures it can handle. “Be careful about shifting the temperatures too quickly, for example, from very cold to very hot,” she adds. “That could cause the glassware to crack or shatter.”
If you’re planning on freezing and reheating directly in your food storage containers, then you’ll want to go with tempered or borosilicate glass, as they can withstand such temperature changes as mentioned previously. But in terms of general storage, Rosen doesn’t think there is a major difference between different types of glass for the average consumer. “I think it is more important to pick storage containers that you like — that are the right size, the right price, have the easiest lids to open and fit in whatever space you have to store them,” she says. “Those will be the factors that actually make a difference in your life.”
Special Glass Cindy Brzostowski is a freelance writer and avid home cook who has previous experience in cookbook publishing. Her writing has been featured in Allrecipes, Blue Apron, The Kitchn, and EatingWell among other publications. For further advice and recommendations about glass storage containers, she consulted Ali Rosen, the author of Modern Freezer Meals, and Ashley Hines, the owner of Thee Tailored Life — a holistic home organization company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.